When was the last time you celebrated a milestone? Do you realize the importance of celebrating them? What is so important about achievements? What should you celebrate? Is a new logo an opportunity to celebrate? Is a new contract an opportunity to throw a party? When and how should you celebrate these high points?

Bear in mind that every milestone is a marketing opportunity. It’s a chance to tell your story to your customers and your employees. It’s an occasion to get publicity, and it gives you a reason to make a splash and to raise awareness of your business in your community.

Celebrate your first year in business. Eighty percent of all small businesses don’t make it past the first year; fifty percent fail in the first five years, if you have made it that far then, celebrate! Most businesses celebrate the five-year increments, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, etcetera. Why not mark two, three, four, six, seven and so on. Throw an open house party for your customers. Invite them to a picnic, invite the media, make a speech and get some attention. In this economy, we need to celebrate every milestone. Think of it this way, you are a job provider, in our troubled times that’s a major achievement. It’s of importance to the community, and you’ll be on TV. If nothing else, it will make your competition jealous because you got the attention.

Maybe you've been in business for 25 years and you have decided to update your company’s look. You hire a professional designer to update your logo to give it a modern feel, and you like the new look. Pull your employees together and commemorate the occasion, even if it means going out to lunch as a team or ordering pizza and everybody has lunch on you. It’s great for team building and you’ll have the opportunity to tell everybody what the new logo means and why you think it better represents the company then the old logo did.

If you have a good quarter, then pull the team together; tell them how important they are to the success of the company. Hand out $50 or $100 bills to the people most responsible for the success or everybody if you think they really helped get you there. This builds an incredible amount of loyalty in your employees. Most people like to know they helped make a difference and when times are tough, they will be there for you.

If you finally land that big service contract with the local mall, apartment complex, or whatever the big contract, celebrate that success and share it with your employees. Find reasons to pull them all together and tell them how important they are to your company. Show your appreciation, you’ll be amazed at what people will do for you when they know that you care and appreciate what they do.

As you do your annual planning, set achievable milestones and celebrate when you hit them. Businesses will often celebrate milestones with customers but many times they fail to include or thank the employees whose hard work and personal sacrifice helped the company achieve its goals. No one is an island so make sure your employees understand how important they are to your company’s success and thank them for their hard work, even though you’re paying them to do a job, a “thank you,” and “great job” is often more important than anything else.

Anytime you have a major milestone, include your customers to allow them to celebrate with you. When you have a smaller landmark, celebrate with your employees. Include the press when you have a significant achievement and gain some publicity. The press loves stories where a company gives back to the community so use these occasions to get public recognition, as this will help you grow your business by growing awareness within the community.

Mike Robbins, the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself says, “Sometimes the best thing for us to celebrate is the mere fact that we've made it to this point in life, especially if things have been challenging” What isn’t challenging in business today? Oprah Winfrey says, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." The same applies to your business, the more you celebrate, and the more there is to celebrate. Your employees like to work for a company that likes to have fun. When people have fun, they’re motivated and they’re willing to go the extra mile to make things happen.

Celebrate every milestone with gusto. Invite your customers to join in the festivities. Invite the press to those extra special celebrations, and give back to the community. You will have happier employees; happier customers and your business will grow. It’s important to celebrate your milestones, take a breather, regroup and enjoy the day.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you want your marketing efforts pay big dividends, contact a marketing professional. I’m available to assist you in all of your marketing efforts. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, help with lead generation, or reputation management services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, PR, social media, and lead generation strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by showing them how to do more with less($). Contact him at 260-338-4554, andy@fracicaenterprises.com or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.